A Long Lonely Road
By Frank Conrad Musumici
Jason had to take a leak. He had had too many beers at the party and was feeling the effects. It was hard for him to stay on the road and he prayed that he would make it the five miles to his house without being stopped. He was about to burst if he didn’t make a pit stop.
This was a lonely stretch of highway, not many lights, so he decided to pull over at the clearing just beyond the next overpass, where he and his pals played when he was a kid. He drove into the clearing, opened the door and walked several yards where he prepared to do his business. It was dusk and soon it would be dark. He hoped it was dark enough to hide him from any patrol car that happened by.
As he finished, he saw something shiny out of the corner of his eye. He spotted a late model car that had apparently run off the road, down an embankment and smashed into a tree. It would have been impossible to see from the highway since the embankment was steep and wide.
It was starting to get dark and Jason hurried to see if there was anyone inside. The driver’s door was open as he reached the car. Jason looked inside, turned around and threw up everything he had consumed at the party.
A thick tree branch had penetrated the windshield on impact and had completely taken the driver’s head off.
The blood was thick and seemed to cover much of the front seat. Jason began hurrying back to his car, still gagging, when he spotted a thick brown envelope on the ground.
The envelope was partially open and he could see a stack of hundred dollar bills sticking half way out of it. He picked up the envelope and looked inside. There were more stacks, all hundred-dollar bills with a paper band in the middle. There was some blood on the envelope. It had probably been in the car and landed there during impact.
As he held the envelope in his hands, Jason felt a dreadful feeling deep inside that seemed to envelop his very soul. He thought for a moment of dropping the envelope where he found it, but was compelled to at least check out its contents.
Jason contemplated his next move. The awful feeling subsided as he counted the cash. There was twenty thousand dollars in the envelope. Well, he knew the driver was dead and calling the police now wouldn’t do him any good. Besides, that could cause complications. Jason was drunk and if he called and waited for the police, they would know and charge him with a DWI. If he called later, they would wonder why he had waited and could trace him from his cell call.
Jason decided to do nothing. He would quietly leave the scene and go home. The fact that he was twenty thousand dollars richer didn’t hurt either.
Jason started his car and though it was quite dark by then, he pulled out of the clearing with the lights off and slowly eased back onto the highway. He looked both ways several times to make sure it was safe to drive on without being seen.
The highway was deserted and he breathed a sigh of relief as he headed home. When he pulled onto his driveway, he smiled. “Home free,” he thought and staggered inside.
Next morning Jason got out of bed and immediately opened his dresser drawer. He took out the envelope and opened it to make sure he hadn’t dreamt the whole thing. The money was there, twenty thousand dollars, waiting for action. The first thing he would do is buy some new clothes, then a nice big steak, then anything goes.
As he held the blood stained envelope he thought of the dead driver but only for a split second. He wouldn’t need money where he was going.
Jason pulled onto the highway excited about his pending spending spree. He rushed across the intersection, but was too late applying the breaks. The semi barreled down on him, crashing into the driver’s door. It crumbled in like a piece of paper and Jason and his grand plans were gone in an instant.
John cursed his luck. “I have to get rid of this damned car,” he thought. It was the second time this week that it had broken down. He leaned against the driver’s door fuming and waited for the tow truck to arrive. The highway seemed quiet for this time of day. Something caught John’s eye as he waited.
Something on the side of the road several yards away. He walked over to the object and when he took a closer look, he spotted a thick brown envelope on the ground. The envelope was partially open and he could see a stack of hundred dollar bills sticking half way out of it.
He picked up the envelope and looked inside. As he held the envelope in his hands, John felt a dreadful feeling deep inside that seemed to envelop his very soul. He thought for a moment of dropping the envelope where he found it, but was compelled to at least check out its contents. There were more stacks, all hundred-dollar bills with a paper band in the middle. The awful feeling subsided as he counted out twenty thousand dollars.
There was something that looked like blood on the envelope but John smiled. I’m one lucky bastard, he thought, and stuffed the envelope in his pants pocket.
The sky darkened and black clouds appeared overhead. There was a chill in the air. John walked to the back of his car and opened the trunk to grab a jacket that he always kept there. He heard the sound of a car behind him, the tow truck, he thought. As he turned around, the speeding pickup truck that had veered off the highway, struck him with such force that his severed head flew in one direction, and the envelope he had stuffed in his pocket in the opposite. The envelope landed several yards in front of John’s disabled car. It was partially open and a stack of hundred-dollar bills could be seen sticking half-way out of it.
Written and read by Frank Conrad Musumici © 2020 All rights reserved